Dining Review: Duck delights

A handful of Tel Aviv restaurants have put together special dishes of lesser eaten bird, hoping to encourage more folks to get out and expand their carnivorous repertoire.

duck 88 (photo credit: )
duck 88
(photo credit: )
Duck, known for its tender and flavorful meat, is at the height of its season here in Israel, where the majority of the locally raised fowl come from Kfar Baruch in the Jezreel Valley. Height of the duck season translates to the freshest and best quality meats on the local market. As such, a handful of Tel Aviv restaurants have put together special duck dishes hoping that their celebration of this lesser eaten bird will encourage more folks to get out and expand their carnivorous repertoire. One of the most popular and best-known cuisines to feature duck is that of the Imperial Chinese kitchen. The Asian restaurant Choya (2 Kremniski St., [03] 562-6665) has an offer for two that includes a dish of crispy or Mandarin duck in a Weisen and chili sauce served with Mandarin pancakes - you know, like Chinese fajitas - for NIS 145 per couple. On a particularly gourmet tip, the relatively new Asif (18 Lilienblum St., [03] 516-5198), opened by chefs Einav Berman and Nir Peler, has put together a French-inspired slow cooked leg of duck in a quince and white wine sauce alongside a celery root and pear puree for NIS 78. Over on Nahalat Binyamin there are a few places participating in this festival without borders. Traklin (41 Nahalat Binyamin St., [03] 566-0013), a wine and meat bistro under the culinary auspices of chef Adi Neuman, is offering a duck breast in cherry sauce served alongside potatoes au-gratin for NIS 115. The Amelie Resto Bar (22 Nahalat Binyamin St., [03] 510-1288) is serving a duck duet with a first course of duck leg in a moulet sauce made of 85% cocoa, which is both sweet and spicy, in the culinary tradition of northern Mexico. For a second course there is a winter dish of duck livers and hearts cooked with Jerusalem artichoke. And, Brown (48 Nahalat Binyamin St., on the corner of Ahad Ha'am, [03] 517-2984) has a late-night offering that should impress your drinking buddies. For NIS 39 you will get a classic duck-inspired bar dish of wings prepared in honey, chili and citrus. Along the quintessential Tel Aviv boulevard named Rothschild, Allora (60 Rothschild Blvd., [03] 566-5655) is an Italian eatery offering up a tasty duck delicacy - liver. Here it comes roasted in Celine butter and served with fig jam and toast for NIS 62. Not to be outdone, Chloelys (16 Abba Hillel Silber St., [03] 575-9060) has two dishes on one plate - well, something has to get you out of Tel Aviv and into Ramat Gan. First, there is one of the most classic dishes out there when it comes to this water bird, confit of duck leg with garlic. Served alongside it, is duck breast in pepper sauce, and the duo comes with potatoes roasted in duck fat and sea salt, all for NIS 160.